Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie met with Giants coach Ben McAdoo on Thursday morning at the team facility and was told that he is suspended indefinitely, the team announced.
“Violation of team rules,” McAdoo said when asked the reason for the cornerback’s suspension.
Rodgers-Cromartie left the building on Wednesday morning and was suspended at that point. He met with McAdoo on Thursday morning to discuss the length of that punishment.
“It was a private conversation that will remain private,” McAdoo said.
Per NFL rules, the Giants can keep Rodgers-Cromartie on the suspended list for only four weeks, so “indefinitely” does have some definition. The Giants placed him on the reserve/ suspended list on Thursday and replaced him on the 53-man roster with cornerback Donte Deayon.
As a suspended player, Rodgers-Cromartie is not allowed in the building with the rest of the team and will not participate in meetings, practices or workouts for the rest of this week, and perhaps into next month, depending on how long his banishment lasts.
“He’s doing well,” said Deayon, who spoke with Rodgers-Cromartie about their intertwined situations. “Getting his mind right and he’s doing well.”
At some point in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Chargers, Rodgers-Cromartie left the sideline after a dispute of some kind. He returned to the field and re-entered the game but left the locker room shortly after the loss.
On Tuesday, Rogers-Cromartie met with McAdoo to discuss that situation, at which point the coach informed him that he would be benched for Sunday night’s game against the Broncos. Rodgers-Cromartie reported to the team on Wednesday morning and then left shortly before practice in the late part of the morning. That led to his suspension.
The meeting on Thursday was between McAdoo and Rodgers-Cromartie and was not attended by co-owner John Mara or general manager Jerry Reese.
McAdoo, who was not available to the media on Thursday per his usual schedule but answered a series of questions on the matter submitted by reporters through the team, denied that any altercation — physical or otherwise — occurred during Sunday’s game against the Chargers.
“No,” McAdoo said. “Not at all.”
McAdoo was asked why Rodgers-Cromartie’s behavior warranted a benching. “When we can,” he said, “we handle team discipline internally.”
It’s clear that McAdoo and the Giants believe Rodgers-Cromartie’s actions required strong discipline, perhaps the strongest at their disposal short of releasing him (which actually would have been more financially beneficial to him with this year’s base salary guaranteed). Rodgers-Cromartie will lose $410,588 in salary for each week he is suspended.
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo would not comment on the suspension, calling that the head coach’s prerogative.
“I know Ben has addressed it and I want to just leave it with Ben,” he said. “I would stand on his comments.”
Spagnuolo did say, however, that Rodgers-Cromartie had not expressed any dissatisfaction with his role in the defense to him. “He’s been great from that standpoint,” Spagnuolo said.
Giants players denied that Rodgers-Cromartie’s suspension is a symptom of a team that is spinning out of control or a reflection on the team’s 0-5 record.
“Things like this happen sometimes,” guard Justin Pugh said. “I’ve been on teams that were winning where guys have been suspended on it.”
So the locker room is not falling apart?
“That’s just jumping to a conclusion, I would say,” Pugh said.
“We’ve always had order on the team,” defensive end Olivier Vernon said. “Coach [McAdoo] does a great job in setting what we have to do, so I don’t know what happened. I don’t know the details.”
The one thing Vernon does know is that Rodgers-Cromartie won’t be playing on Sunday.
“He’s a great, great player, great leader,” Vernon said. “Guys are going to have to step up, and that’s what it is. That’s the game of football. It’s next man up and go from there.”